Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Inaugural 2017 Ponies in the Smokies Hit the Ground Running
Ponies in the Smokies, Run 1: As Inaugural Events Go, PITS Hit the Ground Running in 2017
Before the advent of social media, Mustang events used to take a few years to grow. Slowly but surely, year after year, they would gain steam and attract record crowds. Now with the help of social media the results speak for themselves.
For the inaugural Ponies in the Smokies, event promoters did their due diligence by both covering the social media aspect and pounding the pavement, hitting other events to help spread the word. Then they set out to organize an event to back up the social media hype with activities designed to get people behind the wheel of their Mustang and not sitting in a chair behind it. There were times allotted for sitting in a chair, but that was for the Friday and Saturday show days—and honestly, there were too many nice cars to check out to be sitting in a chair.
For Wednesday and Thursday, attendees were too busy driving their Mustangs to sit in a chair. These two days were devoted to Mustang enthusiasts driving their cars on a shine run/poker run to various local landmarks, including the Tail of the Dragon/Deal’s Gap, Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum, and the Hard Rock Café.
In all, the shine run/poker run had six stops, but the Tail of the Dragon stop held three cards for each participant, so that was a big incentive to visit all six stops. Participants could receive up to eight cards if they made all six stops, which increased people’s chances of having a great hand at the end of the Shine Run. Of course, participants received a card for going to registration—that was an easy one. The stops on the shine run were open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so that left time for evening activities.
To conclude the shine run/poker run, Thursday night held the SVTPerformance.com Shine Run Party at Quaker Steak and Lube in Pigeon Forge, where participants turned in their hands. The party also presented another opportunity to check out other Mustangs at Ponies in the Smokies.
Of course, you could also get up close to the other Mustangs at the show during Friday’s and Saturday’s shows at the Sevierville Convention Center. On both says, inside the convention center was a display of each year Mustang and Saleen. That meant 54 Mustangs inside, along with 33 Saleens represented. Awards were available for just about every Mustang derivative, including special interest models, too.
Saturday’s All Ford Cruise-In featured any Ford vehicle, not just Mustangs, and also ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The awards were handed out at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The show’s times were scheduled so that participants could head home at a decent hour, or enjoy another night in the Smoky Mountains and head out Sunday morning. We chose the latter, heading south out of Pigeon Forge and taking a run through the mountains on the way home.
For an inaugural event, Ponies in the Smokies left everyone looking forward to next year’s show. The organizers already have dates in mind. Make plans to be at next year’s Ponies in the Smokies March 21-24, 2018. This show is quickly going to become a must-attend for Mustang enthusiasts, and it already has for those who made it onto the following captions.